3-Run Eighth Inning Lifts Kennesaw State by Liberty 9-6
After Liberty tied the contest in the seventh, the Kennesaw State Owls hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth, scoring three runs, to down the Flames 9-6, Thursday evening in the opening game of a three-game ASUN series at Worthington Field at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
Trailing 6-2 after four innings of play, Liberty battled back to knot the contest in the seventh, only to see right fielder Brayden Eidson and center fielder Josh Hatcher connect for home runs in the eighth for the victory.
Liberty left fielder Three Hillier went 4-for-4 with four RBI and tied the game with a two-out, two-run double in the seventh. Three of Hillier’s four hits were run-scoring doubles. First baseman Logan Mathieu collected two hits and belted his sixth home run of the season in the contest for the Flames.
Liberty drops to 32-19 overall and 18-10 in the ASUN. Kennesaw State moves to 31-23 overall and 18-10 in the conference. The two teams are now tied for first place in the ASUN Conference’s East Division with two games left in the regular season.
Box Score Highlights
Records: Kennesaw State (31-23, 18-10 ASUN); Liberty (32-19, 18-10 ASUN)
Location: Lynchburg, Va. (Worthington Field at Liberty Baseball Stadium)
WP: Smith Pinson (6-4) | LP: Trey Carter (2-1)
1st INNING – Hillier doubles, Orndorff scores, 1-0
2nd INNING – Mathieu homers, 2-0
3rd INNING – Corbin singles, Hatcher scores, 2-1
3rd INNING – Cash homers, Corbin scores, 3-2
4th INNING – Simon homers, Hatcher and Eidson score, 6-2
6th INNING – Hillier doubles, Orndorff scores (unearned), 6-3
6th INNING – Mathieu singles, Hillier scores, 6-4
7th INNING – Hillier doubles, Anderson and Betts score, 6-6
8th INNING – Eidson homers, 8-6
8th INNING – Hatcher homers, 9-6
– Kennesaw State outhit Liberty, 13-8. Each team committed an error.
– Liberty left seven men on base. Kennesaw State left on six.
– Flames reliever Trey Carter takes the loss. The fifth pitcher used by Liberty in the contest, he gave up three runs on two hits in one inning of relief. He walked a batter.
– Relievers Jeremy Beamon (1 2/3 innings) and Landon Riley (2 innings) combined to pitch 2 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing the Flames to erase their four-run deficit.
– Kennesaw State reliever Smith Pinson records the win. He pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings. He did not allow a hit and struck out one.
– The Owls hit four home runs in the contest.
– Kennesaw State center fielder Hatcher had three hits and scored three times in the game.
After Liberty knotted the score at 6-6 in the seventh, Kennesaw State quickly went back on top in the eighth. Second baseman Hudson Mims led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by catcher Nick Hassan. Right fielder Eidson followed with a home run over the right field wall for an 8-6 advantage. Hatcher then hit the first pitch of his at bat over the left field wall for a 9-6 lead.
Beyond the Box Score
– With two games remaining, the two teams are now tied for first place in the ASUN’s East Division. The winner of the division will be the top seed at next week’s ASUN Tournament in Fort Myers, Fla.
– For the second time in three games, Hillier collects four hits in a contest. The left fielder also had four hits in a 23-3 win at FGCU on Saturday. Four hits in a career-high for the sophomore and is his 13th multiple-hit game of the season.
– Mathieu records his 16th multi-hit game of 2022 in the contest. The Liberty first baseman is hitting a team-leading .358 since April 1.
The Flames and Owls will meet in the middle game of their three-game series, tomorrow at Worthington Field at Liberty Baseball Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.